11 November 2021
Your wedding is the creation of your very own love day. It’s the day you both officially pledge your love and vow the promises you will keep for the rest of your days. So, writing the most perfect wedding vows is a really big deal! But don’t worry, I’m here to help you, I’m here to read your words, give you honest feedback, and sometimes help with the rewrite. Plus, they shouldn’t go any longer than one to two minutes max! Anything more than that is just a huge yawn.
Some of you will have had your wedding vows written since the day after your first date and others will be wanting to ‘wing it’ during the ceremony or smash them out in the days leading up to your big day. (see note below)
No matter what the level of support is needed, it’s important to remember that the points below are a guide only, you don’t need to include all the tips. If something resonates with you then include it if not then leave it out. Your vows are the promises you are making to one another and not a longwinded speech, one to two minutes speaking your love and promises from the heart is all you need.
It’s encouraged to chat to one another about what you’re expecting in your marriage before you actually get married. Things like; children, money, careers, where you’ll live, who will be in charge of mowing the lawn or cleaning out the fridge – this might take some compromise. Within this conversation, chat about what you’re expecting in your personal wedding vows, this can form parts of your promises. Maybe one of you is a complete joker and the other is more sentimental, this is perfectly fine. Every relationship has a certain personality and that personality should match the tone in your wedding vows. If you’re a super serious couple, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make your vows ‘sidesplittingly’ funny. If you like to take the ‘piss out’ of one another make sure there’s a balance between the laughs and the sentiment. At the end of the day if you speak from the heart, your vows will be awesome.
It’s the whole reason why you’re standing there in the first place so say it. Tell them more than once. Tell them why you love them. Tell them what you love most about them. Tell them about the first time you realised you were in love with them (your guests will love this one). You don’t have to say all of these things, this is just a tip, but if you pick one of these ways of telling your honey how / why / when you love them, then you’re off to a great start.
There might be something your honey has helped you with in the past, or in the every day. Maybe they continually help you to get up for the gym in the morning, or maybe they help you service your car, or hide veggies in your food, or maybe they simply help you be a better person just by being there next to you. Whatever it is, your vows are a great time to thank them for helping you do that thing they help you to do.
Promises are the whole crux of what your wedding vows are so think about the promises that you actually believe yourself. Don’t make promises you can’t keep; this marriage is for life and your vows could quite possibly be revisited in the future. This is also a great place to have some fun. Maybe you really love spending lots of money on something and they don’t like it so much, it would go something like this; “I can’t promise I won’t always want to spend copious amounts of money but I can promise I’ll pretend to ask you if I can beforehand”. Promising to always stand by your partner, to always support them on their hardest days, to always listen to them, and to always love them, are a great foundation.
People will tell you to steer away from cliche’s – sentences that have been said a thousand times before – but if that sentence works for you in your relationship then use it. We’re not all Nicholas Sparks (who’s that I hear you say? He wrote the ‘Notebook’). We weren’t taught how to write or even speak romantically. So, if something that someone else has written works for you, then use it. Better still, reword it, or send it to me and I’ll help you to rewrite so it sounds like it’s coming from you.
Song lyrics, should they be used within your vows? If they are true to your love and something your honey will get, then I say why not? I once had a couple who used a whole song within their vows once, they took turns in reciting the lyrics, some of the words changed to match their life – it was an old country song from way back. It was so them and made something that they were really anxious about, completely entertaining.
We all live in the real world, most of the time. We’re not naive to the fact that we can annoy the living daylights out of our spouse on a daily basis. If there’s something you know you annoy your honey with, then bring it up here. Maybe you leave your shoes all over the house and it drives them insane. Maybe they always leave cupboard doors open. You could ‘promise to always put your shoes away in the cupboard if they promise to always close the cupboard door after you’.
This is from point 1 above. When you both decide the type of life you’re wanting to create together, there will be some things you’ll need to do to make that life happen. This could be where you include some of your compromises that only the two of you know. This is a great inclusion, not only does it show you’re willing to make differences in your life, but it also shows your honey that you’re listening to them and willing to put in the work to make those things happen.
Yes, these vows are a big thing, and everyone will be listening to them but try not to overthink them too much. Once you start writing you’ll be surprised at how the words just fall out. A writing tip is to write a few lines or a first draft and put it away for a few days, weeks, months, then re-read it. You’ll see where all the clunky bits are or where you repeat certain things. The words will flow easier after a rewrite, and I’m always on hand to help you rewrite your vows – if you need it.
Don’t worry if no one else at your wedding understands your inside banter, as long as your honey gets it, that’s all that matters. This is all about the two of you, no one knows what your love is like, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, your love is the most unique love on the planet, so use that to your advantage. Also, if you’re super nervous about standing in front of everyone, you don’t have to speak into the microphone. It’s actually quite lovely to watch a couple sharing their vows without knowing what they’re saying. I’ve had couples opt to share their personal vows during their photo session after their ceremony, it’s so intimate and lovely. You do it the way you want to do it.
Have fun with it. Your vows can absolutely be fun, and cheeky especially if your relationship is based on cheeky loving fun, even if it’s not. You both know how to have your own fun, if you bring that element into your vows, then you will definitely succeed in writing the best vows ever!
*Note; ‘winging’ your vows within the moment is never a good idea, I’ve seen this a few times now. Some of you nail it but most just freeze up, and that’s never a good look. Also, I don’t force it on you obviously, but I do very much encourage you to write your vows with a few weeks to spare, so you’re not writing them the night before your wedding – that’s just a total head-case, don’t do that!